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Tagespost Journalist Stephen Baier on the Deep State Plots Against Janša – at Home and Abroad!

You can read a translation of the article from the weekly Die Tagespost on our web portal. In the article, journalist Stephen Baier wrote that the media in Slovenia and abroad are falsely reporting on Prime Minister Janez Janša and that Janša is a victim of the Slovenian media and political transitional network.

Criticism of Slovenia is unjustified The extremely critical reporting on Slovenia, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, is unjustified. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša is far from holding as much power as Viktor Orbán.

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša More and more foreign media outlets are warning against the “Orbanisation of Slovenia.” But if you were to ask the people in Slovenia what is going on, you would see that the situation is, in fact, completely different. During the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the small country of Slovenia is the target of international criticism. Even the presentation of the programme of the Slovenian Presidency by the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša at the European Parliament in Strasbourg at the beginning of July was overshadowed by accusations. Janša should “live the values of the rule of law in his homeland,” the Dutch liberal Malik Azmani harshly criticised the Prime Minister at the time.

“Unfortunately, they want to belong to this strange club of countries that do not respect free media, do not tolerate the independence of the judiciary, and do not respect the rights of the LGBTQ. Corruption, nepotism and fraud are also a staple in this club, which they want to belong to.” Janša should stop pressuring the journalists and judges. MEP Ska Keller also accused Janša of walking the path towards “illiberal democracy.”

Excessive accusations against the government in Ljubljana, which is taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union today, are detrimental to the entire European Union More and more foreign media are warning against the “Orbanisation of Slovenia.” But if you were to ask the people in Slovenia what is going on, you would see that the situation is, in fact, completely different: the majority of the media outlets oppose the Prime Minister, and their freedom is not limited, according to an experienced journalist from Ljubljana. “There is no Orbanisation: Janša does not have a stable majority and is only supported by a small number of media outlets.” Janša is currently in power only because of the split of the previous, left-wing coalition, but the fact is that other people hold power.

It seems that Slovenian society is divided and strongly polarised. There was no real revolution after the break-up of Yugoslavia 30 years ago, as the old communist cadres remained in power, two educated priests explain in an interview with Die Tagespost. The old elites still want to control the justice system, most of the media, and the public administration. “They are afraid of Janša because he is the only one who presents any real danger to them,” says one of the priests. “Namely, he knows the system.”

At the break-up of Yugoslavia, the Communist Party of Slovenia “tactically withdrew from power,” and so in the end, “all of their structures and their influence remain intact,” confirms publicist Tomaž Zalaznik, director of the Nova Revija Institute and co-founder of the Ljubljana Humanities Forum. “In public administration, the judiciary, academia, financial institutions, insurance and the economy, all their representatives have remained in office.” The former communists simply transformed into liberals or social democrats. Milan Kučan, who was the leader of the Slovenian Communists until 1990, was the President of independent Slovenia between the years 1991 and 2002. Many Slovenians believe that to this day, he is still pulling strings and coordinating the state left, as well as managing the media.

Janša stands for an anti-communist Slovenia The other, anti-communist Slovenia, is gathered under Janez Janša, who was Prime Minister between the years 2004 and 2008 and then again briefly in 2012 and 2013. Each of his terms was accompanied by accusations, demonstrations and protests. The left strives to “keep the monopolies that remain in their domain and represent two-thirds of the state budget,” says Tomaž Zalaznik. “And the judiciary, with its oligarchy, which protects these systems from any change, represents an entirely separate, special chapter.”

Like many others, Zalaznik also believes that the source of all evil is the fact that in 1991 when Slovenia gained independence from the communist Yugoslavia, there was no lustration, so there was no radical change of leadership and elites, and defenders of the old regime were not banned from politics. At the time, the majority of Slovenians were not interested in a true democracy, so in the 30 years of independence, there were only six years of conservative politics.

And then there is also the financial privilege of the left: “In 1992, the denationalisation of socially-owned property, the sale of the state-owned companies and the return of once nationalised property began.” Zalaznik is cautious in choosing his next words: “There are certain allegations that the privatisation of former state property in the economy was also carried out with the funds that the Communist Party transferred abroad before the declaration of independence.”

What is the role of the oligarchies? The oligarchy, which is based on these financial structures, is expected to remain at the head of many structures for the third generation now. “By controlling the political space in the National Assembly and the government, they adjusted the new legislation to their own oligarchic interests. In the case of court proceedings, they would be protected from the judiciary, has also not undergone any noteworthy reforms,” Zalaznik explains. Oligarchies are interconnected and protect each other. They are also the only ones with enough resources to be able to influence the big media outlets.

Around 90 percent of the media outlets in the country are left-wing, the former Speaker of the National Assembly, doctor and theologian France Cukjati confirmed in an interview with the newspaper Die Tagespost. Slovenia is accusing the public Radio and Television of spreading propaganda against Janša’s government. Cukjati and his many friends have donated thousands of euros to set up an alternative television station, believing that creating true media pluralism is one of the most important tasks in the country.

Cukjati opposes the opinion that Janša is trying to subjugate the Slovenian Press Agency, as there is a state co-financing agreement in place, with which the previous government promised the Agency that it would “support” it financially, “if necessary,” however, allegations are arising about certain people in the Slovenian Press Agency illegally appropriating large sums of money. That needs to be clarified.

Cukjati believes that a kind of “deep state” is at work in Slovenia, whose invisible structures date back to the communist era of the former Yugoslavia. Before 1991, the then-leaders transferred around 70 billion euros to foreign countries. To this day, these funds are being used to support the political and economic oligarchy in the country. They are supposed to financially support careers in public administration, the judiciary, the media and politics. “It is about influence; the left-wing ideology is a tool, at most,” Cukjati believes. Former President Milan Kučan is a “symbolic figure” of the old structures, who is supposed to be in charge of maintaining the system.

Janša was imprisoned due to false accusations Today, it is already too late for a proper lustration we missed in 1991: “In 1991, no judge lost his or her position – quite the opposite: judges who were previously communist-oriented and are now against the Janša government, occupy the highest positions.” Patience and Janša’s second term are exactly what is needed right now. The latter is something that the three-time Prime Minister did not get in 2008 or 2013. “At that time, they were waging a war against Janša,” Cukjati explained to the newspaper Die Tagespost. In light of the purchase of the Finnish Patria Armoured Vehicles, Janša was accused of corruption. The accusations were dropped long ago, but because of this, Janša had to go to prison.

The left could hardly be considered an attractive option in Slovenia, as it has no popular personalities. “The programme of the left-wing parties is merely to be against Janša and in favour of the LGBTQ ideology.” Cukjati believes that Janša could receive more than 25 percent of the votes in the early elections, but that he will nevertheless stay in power until the next regular elections, which are coming next spring. “The left has no capable people.” Janša is a “wise and pleasant man,” who is systematically being demonised. “When I was the Speaker of the National Assembly, the media wrote absurd things about me. That is when I experienced what it means if 90 percent of the media is against one person,” Cukjati looked back on his own experience.

He also refuted the thesis about the “Orbanisation of Slovenia.” “Janša has many good friends – not only in Hungary but also in Poland, Croatia, Slovakia or Italy. For the first time, the Croatian and Slovenian prime ministers are true friends!” In Slovenia, the increasingly frequent incitements of many EU institutions against Hungary are certainly being observed with concern. The slaps that the Orban government supposedly received from the European Commission due to the legislation on child protection have “also worsened public opinion about the Brussels bureaucracy in Slovenia.”

An uncertain perspective “Janša is trying to bring down the established systems,” says Tomaž Zalaznik. He predominates in the non-left space but will find it difficult to gain a majority. Namely, around 25 percent of voters are loyal to Janša. “Achieving the 50 percent threshold requires a broader framework, with which you can inspire people and take the necessary steps for the future.” Although new parties can be expected to appear before the spring 2022 elections, the outlook remains uncertain. Meanwhile, young people are looking for a better future abroad, “especially educated young people,” says Zalaznik. “The middle generation, families, are struggling to survive. That is why they are avoiding politics that can take revenge on anyone who encroaches on its domains.”

Stephan Baier, Die Tagespost

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